Vantage Points

I’ve written before about my struggles with authenticity. Those examples can be found here and here. Today’s post may be about as honestly authentic as I’ve ever written.

There are those who do and those who talk about doing.

For a large part of my life, I was in the latter camp. I talked a lot and mostly, I talked about doing what I’m doing now. As a kid in FFA, a young adult in the workplace, and as a nonprofit executive, being a speaker, a trainer and a coach has always been something that I’ve dreamed about. I dreamed and I talked but I did nothing.

Then one day, and all great stories, have their And Then One Day moments, I sat in a workshop with a professional speaker. For the duration of the workshop, I thought to myself how I could be doing it better.

When it ended, I was driving home with my mentor and he asked me what I thought and with all of my arrogance told him that I thought it was bad and that I could have done a much better job.

That’s when he got quiet.

When he spoke again, he hit with some truth that I really needed to hear.

“You shouldn’t knock someone for having the courage to DO something that you only TALK about doing.”

He nailed me. I was knocking the speaker because I hadn’t developed the courage to actually act on the things that I talked and dreamed about. Whether I was a better presenter than the speaker that day was irrelevant. He was doing it because he had made the decision to go for it.

That’s the day I decided to start. It’s the day I realized that there’s more to being a professional than being good at something. You have to also have the passion, ambition and most of all the courage to go for it.

I’ve had my ups and downs. I’ve had to grow in areas that I never even thought about. I would have never guessed that I could build my own website, write and keep up a blog or even continue to focus on one thing for more than a month, but then again, I never had the courage to try.

The truth is, it’s much easier to talk than it is to do. That’s probably why there are so few true professionals in the world, but when you see a professional do something, anything, and think to yourself, I could do better, ask yourself if you have the courage to do it. Because you shouldn’t knock someone for having the courage to do something that you only talk about.

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